Byzantine and Russian icons, £15.99
Height: 29.600 cm
Excavated by P. Gaudin (1900-1901)
Room 54: Anatolia and Urartu
Yortan culture, around 2500 BC
From Yortan, modern Turkey
This jug, in the shape of a stylized bird, is typical of the pottery found in a large cemetery at Yortan. The site was used for burials from around 2700 to 2500 BC and was excavated by Paul Gaudin in 1900-1901. Many examples of Yortan pottery are now housed in archaeological museums in Istanbul, Oxford, Paris, Brussels and Berlin, as well as in The British Museum.
This type of black-slipped and burnished jug dates to the middle of the third millennium BC and is found in almost every burial of that date in western Anatolia. Such jugs were presumably left as offerings, though whether it was the vessel itself or the contents that were considered important is not known. The pottery is one of the most important tools for reconstructing Anatolian chronology. Many of the jugs have either white painted motifs or raised knobs around the body, although this one is fluted. One of the three legs has been restored.
M.S. Joukowsky, Early Turkey (Kendall-Hunt, 1996)